The Byron Nelson baseball team is likely going to look back on its Class 6A Region I bi-district playoff series against Lewisville Hebron and understand that it lost to a team that had more.
The Hawks were better on the mound, at the plate and in the field. Dodging the weekend weather, the teams played a doubleheader on Friday at Hebron. The Hawks won both games, 4-0 and 9-5. Byron Nelson closed its season at 16-8.
The first game gave the Bobcats their first opportunity to get a look at the series. When they dropped that one, they didn’t have the firepower to stay with the Hawks in the second game. They fell behind 9-1 before scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it look a little more respectable.
“We had some early opportunities with runners on base but to their credit, [Hebron starter David] Rodriguez made some great pitches,” Nelson coach Mike Killian said. “Really, it was the best game that [Gaige] Vines pitched. He left it all out there. They were just able to make some adjustments in the late innings.”
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Rodriguez wound up with 11 strikeouts and gave up some other ground ball outs. In the elimination game, there was a delay in the second inning because of lightning. Killian wasn’t sure if it impacted Bobcats junior left-hander Will Bresnhan’s command.
However, when Bresnhan did have to come in and left balls over the plate, he paid for it. Hebron starter Zach DeLoach picked up the victory to improve to 8-1.
“Those are the two best arms we’ve seen all year,” Killian said. “Really, because of the games we lost in the early part of the year because of the weather, we didn’t really get a chance to see a lot of different arms. But they were just great out there.”
With the exception of the state champion, every postseason team will go out on a down moment in an otherwise successful season. Of course, Killian could draw upon the two major accomplishments with this program: it made the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and it had double digit district wins (10) for the first time in school history.
“It’s never easy to find the word at that time when you talk to your team after your season ends,” Killian said. “You acknowledge what the seniors did and their contributions and thank them for what they did for the program.
“What’s really tough is that some of those kids will never play baseball again. This was it. But we have to start our offseason this week with our players and just move on. We have some experience coming back. There were some tough breaks to kids who were couldn’t pitch for us for because they were healthy. But we’ll have some good leaders in Ryan Seamster and Jack Waggoner.”
Where they are going
Two players have signed with JUCOs in Oklahoma. Utility infielder Juan Rubayo and infielder Kevin Lentzner will have their futures in front of them.
Killian said Vines has a couple of offers but hasn’t made a verbal commitment to sign with anybody. Killian also said infielder Briton Shiewe is receiving some looks. However, it’s unclear if anything will materialize.